Arrived in Melbourne our first stop in Australia. Had to be up early with our passports to go through immigration. This is the first time since leaving LA. The ship has had our passports since we boarded and delt with any immigration. We had to pick them up and present them face to face to an immigration officer. Same as if you came in on an airplane, but in the terminal building on the pier. The officer asked me to remove my glasses and let us through.
Melbourne sure has a lot more skyscrapers than when I was here about 10 years ago on a business trip. Disney has an office in Melbourne for the movies, TV shows and consumer products. The city tour took us all around. Melbourne has wide roads and lots of nice parks. The design principals were that the streets needed to be 99.99 ft wide so a horse team and wagon make a U-turn and everyone should be within a 10 minute walk of a park. The streets now have 4 lanes of traffic with room for tram/train transportation in the center.
The Yarra river flows through the middle of Melbourne. The river was once very polluted so they built public baths for the townspeople. The baths are now used for swimming pools.
We strolled around at both the Fitzroy gardens and Shrine of Remembrance. The gardens were built to resemble English gardens but with the drought 8 years ago, they have taken out some of the high water requirement flowers and putting in more drought tolerant. They also built a rain water capture and recycle system. Our guide, Lorraine also talked about WWII where 30% of Australia men volunteered and a third of them never returned. It was hard on the women left behind.
We met one of my Disney coworkers, Kayne Riley, for lunch. I had worked with Kayne on several projects over the years and it was good to see him in person again. He showed us around the Federation Square part of town with lots of shops and entertainment. We went down a couple of streets/alley filled with restaurants and food places. It was the area they allow graffiti on the walls and was quite colorful. Didn’t walk around too much because Mel and I are still both under the weather. We did have a good burger and a great conversation. My burger came with pickled beetroot instead of cucumber pickles. It was tasty.
Caught the shuttle back to the boat and crashed for a bit before watching the sunset and Melbourne fade into the mist.